French cybersecurity firms increasingly successful in fast-growing market

Sorina MOLDOVANU - 30/07/14

Interview : Thibaut Barde, UBIFRANCE’s Project Manager for Digital Trust & Cyber Security,

In 2013, there was a 12% year-on-year rise in cybersecurity attacks, with nearly 60% of them causing either brand damage or direct revenue loss to businesses. This, coupled with highly publicized commercial and government breaches of IT security, has increased the demand for cybersecurity services. French companies are strongly placed in this growing market and their advanced solutions are in demand.

 
 
The 12% year-on-year increase in cybersecurity attacks that affected businesses in 2013 (Source: IBM 2014 Cyber Security Intelligence Index), regrettable as it may be, translates into the fact that the IT-security sector is experiencing sustained growth in this segment of the market. High-profile cases, such as the cyber-attacks on US retail chain Target, have raised awareness among business executives.
 
While US-based and British companies dominate current business in this sector, client entities are looking for alternatives in order to alleviate their worries of government intrusion. In this respect, French specialist companies are a strong contender in the eyes of many professionals and executives working for SMEs and start-ups, but also at established, larger groups: these clients are leveraging the French know-how stemming from top R&D centres and universities.
 
In 2013, the French cybersecurity sector was valued at more than $2 billion. The French network-security sector offers a wide range of services, including B2B IT solutions meeting strategic challenges, and comprises many world champions such as Atos, Orange, Sogeti, Bull, Cassidian and the cybersecurity division at Thales.
 
Thanks to their advanced technical research laboratories, more particularly in cryptology and encryption, French players are recognized worldwide.  According to Thibaut Barde, UBIFRANCE’s Project Manager for Digital Trust & Cyber Security, “The reason for cutting-edge technology [thriving in France] is the quality of French universities in the field of engineering, which is known globally. Research laboratories associated with these universities train the best engineers of tomorrow.”
 
 
 
Secure IC SAS is a shining example of a company that has been working with top graduates having come out of the French educational system in order to become a thought leader in cybersecurity. Its platforms provide the highest level of security on a client entity’s embedded systems, preventing hacking and reverse engineering as well as protecting intellectual property and proprietary data. In 2013, Secure IC SAS won a Sesame Award for innovation in the manufacturing and testing of IT products.
 
French start-ups and SMEs have developed out of a strong domestic talent pool and many have decided to join forces under the HexaTrust label, which regroups 20 hi-tech SMEs that are keen to offer a co-ordinated, total service package to their clients.  These software vendors and integrators provide a full range of products and services dedicated to the protection of the critical infrastructure of businesses and institutions from cyber-attacks. The HexaTrust umbrella group’s portfolio of current and potential clients is diverse and growing, including businesses and public-sector agencies of all sizes.
 
Due to the dramatic increase in the level of sophistication and intensity of cyber-attacks, public- and private-sector investment in cybersecurity is growing fast and is expected to rise by nearly 10% per year between now and 2017. This trend illustrates the promising opportunities that exist for a large business looking for a new market, or for a dynamic SME scaling up a new product.
 
Thibaut Barde of UBIFRANCE Paris explains that, “France’s distance from recent scandals [involving the international and covert collection of data by various government agencies, as revealed in the media] is favourable for French players since awareness on the use of data takes place at a global level. This has helped to build the profile of the industry and has generated increasing concerns for [the security of] personal data, which is a real asset for the French in particular: it is important when it comes to ​​data-storage companies, among others.”
 
Many French companies in the sector are choosing to develop an international business outlook. French players have strong opportunities to seize in this market thanks to their technological expertise, combined with the diversity of products and services they can offer.
 
UBIFRANCE is here to help, with a strong presence at next year’s Infosecurity Europe trade event, where there will be as many as 15 French companies looking to expand their presence into the British market and other European markets. Infosecurity Europe will take place from 2 to 4 June 2015 at the Olympia exhibition centre, in central London (UK).
 
For further information about the trade show, please go to: http://www.infosec.co.uk/
 
For further information about UBIFRANCE, please go to:  http://www.ubifrance.com/
 
 
 
Further information about French companies:
 
 
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